Jimmy Rankin (vocals)
John Morris Rankin (piano, fiddle)
Cookie Rankin (vocals)
Raylene Rankin (vocals)
Heather Rankin (vocals)
The 12 members of the Rankin Family are from Mabou, Cape Breton on the Canadian Maritimes coast. Their musical heritage began early as mom (piano), dad (violin) and the eldest Rankin children entertained the neighbours every third weekend as part of a ceilidh. The tradition continued as the elder Rankins left home to be replaced by younger siblings.
Five of the siblings began performing in 1989 following Raylene's graduation with a law degree from Dalhousie University. With the help of her booking skills and a mail order business run by their mother, The Rankins released their own independent cassettes 'The Rankin Family' (1989) and 'Fare Thee Well Love' (1990) featuring original songs and the a combination of traditional jigs, reels and celtic folk songs. They made their television debut on the CBC's 'On The Road Again' in 1989 and made an encore performance in September 1990 when footage from their summer performance at the Baddeck Festival of The Arts and the Winnipeg Folk Festival was televised nationally in a one hour documentary entitled 'Here Come The Rankins!'.
The debut sold platinum and put the band on the Canadian musical map. The follow-up was the quadruple-platinum selling smash 'Fare Thee Well Love' and was picked up for re-issue as their EMI major label debut in 1992. The title track was later picked up for a Disney movie in the US.
That summer the singers performed on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Queen Elizabeth II as part of the 125th Anniversary celebrations of Canada Day.
Their first all new album for EMI was 1993's 'North Country' which sold more than 350,000 copies.
1995's limited edition 'Grey Dusk Of Eve' EP was certified gold with sales of more than 50,000 followed by the full-length 'Endless Seasons' produced by John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter).
The group has won four Juno awards (Group of the Year, People's Choice Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year for "Fare Thee Well Love" and Country Group of the Year) and a dozen East Coast Music Awards. Already this year,
The Rankin Family have played several high profile concert dates including headlining the Guinness Fest in Australia and New Zealand, and a U.S. tour with a SRO concert with Mary Black at the Town Hall in New York City, plus Molly Johnson's Kumbaya Festival.
With notes from Kimberley Wotherspoon
1989 Mo Run Geal, Dileas (independent)
1992 Orangedale Whistle (EMI)
1992 Fare Thee Well Love (EMI)
1993 Gillis Mountain (EMI)
1993 Rise Again (EMI)
1993 North Country (EMI)
1994 Borders and Time (EMI)
1995 You Feel The Same Way Too (EMI)
1996 The River (EMI)
1996 Forty Days and Nights (EMI)
1996 Roving Gypsy Boy (EMI)
1997 I Wonder As I Wander (EMI)
1998 Movin' On (EMI)
1998 Maybe You're Right (EMI)
1989 The Rankin Family (independent)
1990 Fare Thee Well Love (independent)
1992 Fare Thee Well Love [CD re-issue] (Capitol)
1992 The Rankin Family [CD re-issue] (Capitol)
1993 North Country (EMI)
1995 Endless Seasons (EMI)
1995 Grey Dusk Of Eve (EMI)
1996 Collection (EMI)
1997 Do You Hear...Christmas (EMI)
1998 Uprooted (EMI)
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